BEN # 204

Adolf Ceska aceska at VICTORIA.TC.CA
Sat Oct 3 03:09:03 EST 1998

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No. 204                              October 3, 1998

aceska at                Victoria, B.C.
 Dr. A. Ceska, P.O.Box 8546, Victoria, B.C. Canada V8W 3S2

From: ASPT Current News Contents

Dr.  Fred  R.  Ganders, Professor of Botany at UBC, has been ap-
pointed the new Director of the University of  British  Columbia
Herbarium.  In  addition to his long standing research interests
in mating systems and Hawaiian Bidens, he is currently writing a
Flora of the Fraser Valley (from Hope, B. C.  south  to  the  US
border and west to the Strait of Georgia). Dr. Helen Kennedy has
been appointed Honorary Curator of Vascular Plants. 

Please direct any inquiries to the Director:
Dr.  Fred R. Ganders, Director, UBC Herbarium, Botany Department
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC  Canada  V6T  1Z4.
Phone:   604  822-3344;  Fax  604  822-6089;  Herbarium  e-mail:
UBC at


Abbreviated chapter from: Hosford, D., D. Pilz, Randy Molina,  &
   M.  Amaranthus.  1997.  Ecology and management of the commer-
   cially harvested American matsutake mushroom. General Techni-
   cal  Report  PNW-GTR-412,  USDA   Forest   Service,   Pacific
   Northwest Research Station, Portland, OR. 68 p.

Pine  mushrooms,  matsutake,  were once widespread and common in
mixed pine forests of Japan from Hokkaido in the north to Kyushu
in the south. After  World  War  II,  they  became  increasingly
scarce,  in  spite  of  efforts to enhance their productivity in
local forests. By 1981, productivity has declined  to  one-tenth
of  the pre-War levels, and imports of Japanese matsutake, espe-
cially from South Korea, increased greatly to meet demand.

Since 1905, the matsutake forests of Japan have been plagued  by
the  pine nematode (Bursaphelenchus lignicolus). The nematode is
transmitted  to  living  pines  by  the  Japanese  pine   sawyer
(Monochamus alternatus), a longhorn beetle. Invasion of vascular
tissue  by  the  nematode  results in wilt and rapid death. Most
host pines of matsutake, including the Japanese  black  and  red
pines (Pinus thurbergii and P. densiflora), are very susceptible
to  this  devastating  pathogen.  Since  the introduction of the
nematode at the start of the 20th century on the southern island
of Kyushu, it has steadily spread  north-eastward.  The  current
blight  is  the  fourth in a series of epidemics since 1905. The
third epidemic lasted a decade, peaked in 1979,  and  caused  an
estimated  loss  of  2.4  million cubic meters of pine wood. The
current epidemic began in 1990 and killed enough  trees  in  one
year  to  build  50,000 houses. Recent reports indicate that the
disease has also spread to  forest  of  Okinawa,  Taiwan,  South
Korea, North Korea, and China. A combination of climatic, socio-
economic  and  biological factors in Japan tends to increase the
magnitude of the blight. Pine mortality from the nematode  often
increases  after  prolonged drought and high temperatures, which
weaken the resistance of the pines to the parasite.

Although  the  Japanese  have   developed   many   silvicultural
strategies to manage matsutake forests, matsutake production has
disappeared  from  the  vast  stretches of mountain pine forests
that die each year. Indeed, Japan's temples and public parks may
eventually become the last refuge for matsutake pine forests, as
suggested by a respected Kyoto gardener, Mr.  Shiro  Nakane  (c.

   "To  me,  this  already seems to be the case. When I was a
   kid, I'd walk on the  paths  right  up  there  and  gather
   matsutake from many, many red pines. Now I sometimes go up
   to  the  mountain  with  my  two  boys and my dog, but the
   forest there has changed. The trees I remember  are  gone.
   Still,  different  trees  are appearing, and maybe this is
   nature's way."

From: Stephen Darbyshire <darbyshires at>

The Ottawa Field-Naturalists' Club has lost  its  storage  space
and must dispose of back issues of the Canadian Field-Naturalist
in  4-6  weeks. If you would be interested in an almost complete
set of back issues for shippping costs  only,  you  can  let  me
know.  There  are  also  copies  of  John Macoun's autobiography
available under similar terms.

DAO herbarium in Ottawa has a list  of  reprints  available  for
free  distribution. It is too long a list to include in BEN. You
can ask Gisele Mitrow <mitrowg at> and she will send  you
the list as an e-mail attachment.

Submissions, subscriptions, etc.:  aceska at
BEN is archived at

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